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Friday,  April 19, 2024 12:22 PM 

Tips on cabin selection

Tips on cabin selection
Ming Tappin

Ming Tappin is a cruise industry expert and is the owner of Your Cruise Coach.

Now that your clients have determined the type of stateroom they want, the next task is to select the actual cabin. Here are some tips to keep in mind.

Study the ship's deck plan carefully and note what is directly above, below and adjacent to the cabin you are choosing. Elevator bays, stairwells, laundrettes and public rooms can have potential traffic and noise. Cabins directly under the Lido deck may also experience noise as deck furnitures are being cleaned and rearranged overnight or early morning.

The best location for a stable ride is low and center, although if the seas are rough, you'll feel it no matter where you are! Forward cabins experience more motion as the ship pitches, and those on the lower decks get an early wake-up call when the ship drops anchor. Aft cabins might experience engine vibration, although this has been drastically reduced on new builds. I would generally opt for aft over forward.

Clients might ask if they should book a cabin on the "land side" on Alaska or coastal cruises. Unless the itinerary specifies scenic cruising through an area, ships are generally in international waters which means several kilometres from land. And in Alaska's Inside Passage, there is beautiful scenery on both sides.

A word about booking a guarantee cabin: make sure the client fully understands what this entails. Guarantee cabins allow the client to pay the lowest price by forgoing the cabin assignment. Sometimes this can mean a few hundred dollars in savings. But by doing so, the client will leave cabin assignment completely in the hands of the cruise line.

It may be up to the day of sailing before this is done, and the assigned cabin can be on any deck, any location of the ship. And whatever cabin is assigned, must be accepted as-is. Also, parties traveling together may end up in different locations, even if their bookings are cross-referenced. So, if the client is not willing to accept all of these terms, they should not be booking a guarantee.

Lastly, some travel agents use the potential of an upgrade to sell guarantee cabins, but upgrades don't always happen. My advice is to leave the upgrade out of the conversation. It's a pleasant surprise for the client if they get it, and no harm done if they don't.

Of course, the best way to get the perfect cabin is to book early!